Arab News closer to goal of gender-balanced newsroom

Arab News launched its gender-balance initiative in April 2018 during the inaugural Arab Women Forum at King Abdullah Economic City. (AN Photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 08 March 2020

Arab News closer to goal of gender-balanced newsroom

  • Gender-balance initiative was launched in April 2018 at inaugural Arab Women Forum
  • Over the past year, proportion of female editorial staff has risen from 35 to 46 percent

JEDDAH: Arab News has made great strides in improving the gender balance among staff in its newsrooms, and is getting close to its goal of achieving a 50:50 split by the end of this year.
The Riyadh-based newspaper revealed that in the past year, the proportion of female editorial staff has increased from 35 percent to 46 percent.
This includes employees at its offices in Saudi Arabia, London and Dubai, along with its regular op-ed writers and foreign correspondents. An all-female team was also assembled to provide special coverage of Hajj.
Arab News launched its gender-balance initiative in April 2018 during the inaugural Arab Women Forum at King Abdullah Economic City. The efforts it has employed to achieve its goal include active recruitment, and specialist training and career guidance provided by experienced professionals at the newspaper and from other prestigious news organizations. It has been assisted by the Saudi Research and Marketing Group, the paper’s publisher.
Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas said the initiative reflects the wider reforms in Saudi Arabia in recent years, which includes a drive to encourage more women to enter the workforce.
Assembling a diverse newsroom is not simply a box-ticking exercise, he added, it is about providing equal opportunities to all skilled journalists in Saudi Arabia and beyond.
“It is also about serving the community better by doing what we do best: Quality, insightful and inclusive journalism,” Abbas said.


Fahad Al-Azzam, assistant deputy minister for empowerment at the Saudi Ministry of Health

Updated 14 August 2020

Fahad Al-Azzam, assistant deputy minister for empowerment at the Saudi Ministry of Health

Fahad Al-Azzam has been the assistant deputy minister for empowerment at the Ministry of Health since September 2019.
He has also been the general manager for enterprise at the ministry’s project management office since July 2016, where he developed and implemented a standard set of project management processes and models, and built the framework and updated it to account for developments and best practices.
It was announced on Monday that Al-Azzam’s role as assistant deputy minister for empowerment has been extended for another year.
Al-Azzam obtained a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, in 2007. He studied abroad in the US, obtaining a master’s degree in engineering and technology management from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 2014.
Prior to his current position, Al-Azzam worked as a cooperative trainee at the Saudi Electricity Co. between May and October 2006.
At the Advanced Electronics Co., he worked as an assistant field service engineer between July 2007 and May 2009, and technical support and field service engineer between May 2009 and December 2010.
At the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, he worked as senior electrical engineer at their radiation safety department between January 2011 and February 2015.
He developed a safety program for exporting and importing electronics devices to and from Saudi Arabia and worked at controlling the risk resulting from the use of radiation-emitting devices. He also worked there as a project manager at their project management office between February 2015 and July 2016.